On December 19, 2012, Citizenship, Immigration, and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced that the Federal Skilled Worker Program (“FSWP”) would once again begin accepting new applications on May 4, 2013. However, several key details of the FSWP were not announced at that time. Citizenship and Immigration Canada has now provided these last remaining details.
On May 10, 2013, Citizenship and Immigration Canada announced proposed regulatory amendments that will narrow the definition of “dependent child” by reducing the age limit to children under the age of 19 and removing the exception for full-time students. Once implemented, this proposed change will adversely affect the dependent children of all prospective immigrants to Canada.
In the wake of the RBC’s temporary foreign worker debacle, and Prime Minister Harper’s temporary foreign worker program reform, what are the implications of outsourcing Canadian jobs in favour of temporary foreign workers? The implications for Canadian workers and recruitment are telling.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada cautions against preparing Federal Skilled Worker Program applications until key details are announced
The Federal Skilled Worker Program will begin accepting applications as of May 4, 2013. However, Citizenship and Immigration Canada has recently reminded applicants who may be preparing to submit applications that it still expects to announce three important elements of the FSWP in April 2013, which will have a significant impact on who can apply under the program.
The refugee determination process has been a hotly debated topic in Canadian immigration. These changes could affect the Canadian workforce, which has been experiencing a shortage of skilled labour in a number of provinces. It is too early to say whether these change will be a good move or a bad one for Canada, but it is evident that Canada will be accepting more refugees than ever before.
On January 24, 2013, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Citizen Jason Kenney announced that Citizenship and Immigration Canada would launch a Start-Up Visa Program to recruit innovative immigrant entrepreneurs who will create new jobs and spur economic growth. This program differs from existing investor and entrepreneur options to the extent that the entrepreneur will not need to be the source of investment capital. Such a program will enable entrepreneurs who establish start-up businesses using capital contributed by third parties, such as venture capital firms or angel investors, to seek permanent residence in Canada. The Start-Up Visa Program begins on April 1, 2013.
On August 18, 2012, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) published proposed regulatory amendments in the Canada Gazette, which (once enacted) would create a Federal Skilled Trades Program (“FSTP”). On January 2, 2013, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced that CIC would begin accepting applications under the FSTP, effective immediately.
On December 13, 2012, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney and United States Ambassador to Canada David Jacobson signed the U.S.-Canada Visa and Immigration Information-Sharing Agreement (the “Agreement”). The Agreement authorizes development of arrangements under which one country may send an automated request for data to the other country, such as when a third country national applies to Canada for a visa or claims asylum.
On December 8, 2012, CIC published proposed regulations that will authorize the collection and use of biometric data from certain foreign nationals. Starting in 2013, temporary resident visa, study permit, and work permit applicants from certain visa-required countries and territories who seek to enter Canada will be required to have their biometric information (fingerprints and photograph) collected overseas before arriving in Canada.
The preamble of the Charter of the French language makes it clear that everyone has the right to live and work using the French language, and that it is the official language of Quebec in government, law, work, education, commerce and business. This preamble is now elaborated to acknowledge that,
Open work permits will be issued to provincial nominees under the Federal Skilled Worker Backlog Reduction Pilot
When Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) announced that it was cancelling the backlog of Federal Skilled Worker (“FSW”) cases that were filed prior to 2008, several Provincial Nominee Programs (“PNPs”) began offering some of those applicants the opportunity to apply for a provincial nomination under CIC’s FSW Backlog Reduction Pilot (the “FSW Pilot”). As of November 5, 2012, eligible foreign nationals who have been nominated by a participating PNP under the FSW Pilot may now apply for one of 1,500 available province-specific open work permits; this will enable them to enter the labour market while their permanent residence cases are pending. Work permits issued under the FSW Pilot may be valid for a maximum of two years and cannot be extended.
On September 28, 2012, the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism announced that citizenship applicants will now be required to provide up-front objective evidence of their language ability at the time of their citizenship application. This requirement applies to applications received as of November 1, 2012. After that date, Citizenship and Immigration Canada will return any citizenship application, filed by an applicant between the ages of 18 and 54, that does not include objective evidence of language ability.
According to a published report titled “Made in Canada: How the Law Constructs Migrant Workers’ Insecurity” by the Metcalf Foundation, Canada’s reliance on low-wage migrant workers with temporary immigration status is growing but the employment and labour laws of the country make them vulnerable to abuse.